Richard Jay Belzer (born August 4, 1944) is an American stand-up comedian, author, and actor. He is perhaps best known for his role as John Munch, whom he has portrayed as a regular cast member on the NBC police drama series Homicide: Life on the Street and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, as well as in guest appearances on a number of other series. Belzer was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut. He grew up in a Jewish family. After high school, Belzer worked as a reporter for the Bridgeport Post. He attended Dean Junior College in Franklin, Massachusetts. After his first divorce, Belzer relocated to New York City, moved in with singer Shelley Ackerman, and began working as a stand-up comic at Pips, The Improv, and Catch a Rising Star.
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